This Can’t be True: Android-Prison!

I like gadgets and so I bought me one of those new, big Samsung tablets. Big screen, big display – nice. It’s a bit heavy, but still only half the weight of a modern laptop. It comes with a new version of the Android operating system, a Linux-based system developed by Google. The installed version is KitKat (4.4).

As a normal and maybe somewhat naïve user, I bluntly assumed that a new device is just better, more modern, more versatile than the previous one. Not so. To make a long story short: The tablet does not let us write to the external storage, no write-access to the SD-card. What a disappointment! Imagine, you buy a big (64Gb) micro-SD card (US$ 80 or so), you want to save long email attachments, pictures, all those bulky files on the external storage – and it does not work. The tablet just says “cannot save the file”. That’s it. Imagine, you write a long report (or love letter) and want to save it – and you can’t. “cannot save the file”. These are those lonesome moments in life where we wonder why things are like this and why it always happens to us, and at the worst possible moments in life. (“Why me, why now?”)

The facts are: Android-Samsung is configured so that newly installed applications (all those programs that were not factory installed) cannot write to the SD-card. Reading data, yes. Writing, no! – Why?

And why is this not written outside on the box as a warning? Or in a prominent page of the manual (no RTFM)?

A search on the Internet reveals, that this is not a flaw, not a mistake, this made like that with certain intentions. As the internal memory is limited (and expensive) the user is eventually forced to store his data somewhere, and the only viable option left is to store to one of those online services in the “cloud”. The user has the option to “root” the device, a somewhat fumbly exercise for the casual user which restores the rights to do certain things on a device we own, we bought. This is certainly not a procedure that I would attempt while commuting from or to the office, it requires concentration and some time!

I am still wondering WHY I can’t do on my own gadget what I want to do? What is the logic behind this?